- Accommodation….. “a stunning setting with beautiful views, fantastic food, warm welcoming hosts and really lovely and comfortable rooms”
- Walking Routes…. “Pleasingly varied, extremely interesting and pleasantly challenging. Each day was different – one day crunching through chestnut woods and across vineyards, another high up on a rocky mountain, another passing through mountain meadows with the occasional cow looking on…..”
- Leader…. “well organised and prepared. Very knowledgable about the area where we stayed and where we walked (and the different varieties of grappa available at our accommodation!).😂. Fun, friendly and entertaining. Nothing was too much trouble.”
- Itinerary…. “very well thought through itinerary. Everything well organised. Plenty of variety throughout the week and a real treat in the middle of our stay to have a day to visit a beautiful city. Thoroughly enjoyed our evenings out as well as the home made suppers that we had back at the accommodation with our hosts. Our ritual coffee/gelato stops after our walks also definitely went down a treat! “
Highly recommended. Helen Evans – October 2016[/expand]
“Steve was my College Tutor whilst I was on the BTEC National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure. From Day 1, I knew the 2-year course the right choice. Tom Coombe – January 2015
“Summer 2014, the wrong side of 50, overweight, poor health and constantly tired so I decided, with my sister in law’s encouragement, to try Nordic Walking. Gill C – April 2015 My first attempt was an hour in Lydiard Park with Steve Ellis of Gemini Outdoors and about half a dozen other convivial, friendly walkers on a Wednesday evening in July.
Steve is an amazingly patient teacher – it might look easy but getting the right technique with the poles takes practice (I’m still practicing). It’s a bit like being on a cross trainer but more fun.
At the end of the first hour I was a sweating wreck but I felt invigorated and so pleased that I had taken my first steps towards better health and fitness. I went the next week, and the next…. Wednesday evening couldn’t come around soon enough.
On the fourth occasion Steve mentioned the Nordic Walking Challenge in November.
The beauty of the event is that you challenge yourself. You don’t have to race anyone, although you can if you want to.
I find Steve quite inspirational and as he was organising it and had helped me so much I wanted to reciprocate and support his event. I said I would do the 5k challenge. He encouraged me to try for 10k and I found myself agreeing! I drove home wondering what on earth I had let myself in for.
The Challenge Day arrived. It was really well organised – slick and professional. Before I even started walking I was surprised to bump into three people I knew from different parts of my life who, before the day,
I had not known they did Nordic Walking. It’s like a friendly fitness Mafia!
After a fun filled ten minute official warm up and wearing my personal time piece which was linked to the official timer I set out with the last group of 10k walkers. Within five minutes I was on my own. Everyone else, fitter and more experienced had cleared off but I was not disheartened. I was doing this for myself and to show my two very fit daughters that there was still life in their ageing mother!
The second 5k lap was really tough but all the Marshalls were so encouraging along with the Nordic walkers from the other distance groups who were lapping me! It started to rain at one point which was a welcome relief as I was so hot despite it being November.
At the finish I was last (well someone has to be) but euphoric that I had achieved my goal. I was also really chuffed to receive my “split” time, just like in the Olympics, which showed that I had managed to keep up the same pace throughout the course. I could have done without the official photographer and his camera although I was so wrecked I reckoned no one would recognise me!
When I got home at lunchtime, after a shower and something to eat, I fell into bed and stayed there until the next morning – to say I was worn out is an understatement but it was worth it for the amazing sense of achievement I felt.
Since then I have continued to walk with Steve’s groups in Malmesbury, joined a full day coaching session to improve my technique and walked most weeks with one of the friends I bumped into on the day of the Challenge. Nordic walking is fun, sociable and a million times more enjoyable than going to the gym. I feel fitter, healthier and happier since first planting my poles.”
My first attempt was an hour in Lydiard Park with Steve Ellis of Gemini Outdoors and about half a dozen other convivial, friendly walkers on a Wednesday evening in July.
“Thank you for a great day with good company, and developing understanding of the principles of Nordic walking.” Susie – Introduction to Nordic Walking Course – Jan 2015 “Thank you Steve. We both had a great day and I think you may have converted Clive!” Gill – Introduction to Nordic Walking Course – Jan 2015
“Thank you Steve. We both had a great day and I think you may have converted Clive!” Gill – Introduction to Nordic Walking Course – Jan 2015
“Steve’s approach to Nordic Walking has provided the perfect catalyst to getting fit again, and enjoying the process.
“Steve is one of the most forward thinking and creative people I have had the pleasure to work alongside in the outdoors.
“I hate exercise but I LOVE Nordic Walking! It’s the only form of exercise that I have ever stuck to (3 years now) and I put that down to two things:
“Steve has been working with me on improving my fitness levels since January 2012 (for once a New Years resolution was stuck to) through his Nordic Walking classes.
“Steve really made a difference to my son’s understanding of the great outdoors, even I came away with map reading skills I thought I would previously never master – Great time, great guy, great fun.” Adele Thackray – North Wales
“Both my fiancé and I hate running, but know that aerobic exercise is the best way to loose the dreaded Christmas pounds.
I would definitely recommend Steve’s Nordic walking to anyone who: enjoys the outdoors, wants to get fit and have a good giggle along the way.
The sessions that are run throughout the week really up the heart rate and Steve is fantastic at encouraging you to achieve your best. Overall, quite simply, we’re hooked!!” Sarah – Jan 2012
“I spent two years under Steve’s tuition, on the BTEC National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure, and can honestly say it was the best and most useful two years of my education.
Steve shared his time and expertise well with the whole group and didn’t make me feel an idiot for not understanding new things immediately. He also allowed us to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment. I also appreciated the suggested follow up reading material and suggested websites, and hope to return and complete Mountain Skills Course when I’m a little more experienced. Elizabeth – Hill Skills Course – Jan 2015